If you plan on escaping this weekend’s furnacelike temperatures by heading to the coast, don’t even think about lighting any bonfires when the sun goes down—not even on the sand.
The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department has temporarily banned beach fires, a restriction that applies to more than 300 miles of coastline from Astoria to Brookings.
The extra precautions are in place because of intense heat, low humidity and strong winds coming from the east—conditions that have prompted the National Weather Service to issue a red flag warning for most of our ocean-adjacent land.
As of Sept. 9, the Oregon Department of Forestry also declared the North Oregon Coast is under an “Extreme Fire Danger” order, and everyone is encouraged to avoid activities that could be an ignition source, like mowing dry grass or tossing cigarette butts on the ground, which, let’s face it, you shouldn’t be doing in the first place because that’s littering and just a jerk move.
Fires are also prohibited in all state forests and most campgrounds. That includes those fueled by wood, charcoal briquets, pellets and candles. Portable propane stoves and similar devices that can be instantly switched off are still allowed, though for cooking purposes only.
And this is the weekend to leave off-road vehicles at home. They are not allowed in regional forests and beaches at this time because they are a fire risk.
Basically, the message from public lands agencies for the next several days is this: Use extra caution and observe all restrictions while the state is a tinderbox that’s one spark away from going up in flames.